Hawea Vercoe’s killer sentence increased

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The man convicted of killing Bay of Plenty school principal Hawea Vercoe has had his jail sentence almost doubled.

In June Isaiah Johnson Richard Tai, an orchard worker, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced at the High Court in Rotorua to two years and 10 months’ prison for the fatal attack on Mr Vercoe outside a Whakatane bar on November 22 last year.

Solicitor General David Collins appealed the sentence, saying it was “manifestly inadequate”.

In a Court of Appeal decision released today, Justices Robert Chambers, Terence Arnold and Rhys Harrison quashed the original sentence, replacing it with one of four years and six months’ prison.

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